Random Thoughts 12/29/2013 – The Post-Christmas Edition

Faux Fur Bean Bag Pillows

Faux Fur Bean Bag Pillows… Don’t pretend that you’re not jealous

1.  I got a new sewing machine for Christmas.  So far, my kids and I have made pillows.  But not just ordinary pillows, huge fake fur bean bag pillows!  (Ben – you may recognize the fur from the black one.)

2.  Our new video game, Skylanders, is pretty cool.  I am enjoying it much more than I thought I would… until the wee hours of the morning.

3.  I really enjoyed Christmas.  I’ve had 3 family gatherings (there’s one left to attend) and one outing with friends.  They’ve all been much less stressful than usual.  SCORE!

4.  Related note #1 – My side of the family has a tradition of saying grace that ends with the phrase “When in doubt, look up” that is then followed by a shot of peppermint schnapps in a Dixie cup.  I can’t imagine having a gathering without that.

5.  Related note #2 – That prayer and toast was one of the most heartfelt I have ever seen.  My uncle (the family patriarch who always leads the prayer and toast) had us all in tears.  It was really touching.

6.  Related note #3 – CONGRATULATIONS Kenneth and Brandy!!!  (They got engaged on Christmas morning.  🙂 )

Skylanders on PS3 + Fur bean bag = Best. Sunday. Morning. EVER.

Skylanders on PS3 + Fur bean bag = Best. Sunday. Morning. EVER.

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Random Thoughts 12/23/2013

W A R N I N G ! ! ! ! !

For those of you who have expressed to me how CREEPY you find the “Elf on the Shelf” dolls, AVERT YOUR EYES!!!  (Creepy elf doll pics below)

1.  Last Monday, my singing group had our last gig of the season.  Watching grown men wipe tears from their eyes when I sing might be the biggest compliment I have ever received.

2.  Facebook is pissing me off.  I don’t know why they changed whatever they did so that fewer people see my posts, but I DON’T like it.

3.  My youngest has her first loose tooth.  That freaks me out to no end.  I’m not ready for this.

4.  Elf on the Shelf is the best behavior modification tool on the market.  I hear my kids whispering to each other “Stop or N-I-C-O-L-E will hear us.”  That’s what they named her and apparently they resort to spelling her name when they are worried about what she will tell Santa.  Worth. Every. Penny.


5.  I love Legos.  Lego Friends (Legos for girls)…  BRILLIANT!

6.  For the first time in over 2 years, I’m going to make gluten-filled, non-paleo desserts.  This means I will have regular sugar and regular flour in my house.  I feel so rebellious!

7.  Related note:  As long as I’m getting all naughty with my desserts, I’m going to do it up right.  First to make on the list is called “Sex in a Pan“.  Oh yes, this is happening.  😉

Random Thoughts 12/14/2013

Sparkly Super Spaz dancing at the "unofficial" work party

Sparkly Super Spaz dancing at the “unofficial” work party

1.  I had the most AMAZING weekend!  I got the opportunity to dance and dance and dance at the “unofficial” holiday party for work.  I got to make a complete fool of myself and got so crazy that I lost my voice.  What a FANTASTIC time!

2.  I also got to help with a pancake breakfast on Friday morning.  That was fun too.  We made pancakes and sausages and had to remedy a small debacle with some expired orange juice, but the whole thing ended with Christmas music karaoke.  My work friends are so amazing.  (((HUGS))) to you all!!!

3.  Today ended up being clean the house and make food day.  I have meals planned and made for almost the whole week.  I spent nearly the entire day in my kitchen… and in my pajamas.  GO ME!!!

4.  Related note #1:  I made 2 kinds of breakfast (I won’t tell you what they are because they gross out normal people), lunches for the week, and I have a brisket in the crockpot for BBQ beef during the week.  Boom.  That just happened.

5.  Related note #2:  I got yelled at today by my kids for singing too loudly in my kitchen.  “Mom, we can’t hear back here.  You need you to start using your whispering voice.”

6.  Related note #3:  Here is my kitchen playlist for today:

7.  I have 5 days of work until I am off for 2 weeks with my kids.  The countdown begins!!!

Enjoy your week, friends!  And stay safe in the snow!!!

Trip Report

Hello, my friends!  Long time, no see!  I just got back from a trip to DC.  Well, DC adjacent.  I had to go to HR training for work, but I got to go with 3 of my colleagues… so it was actually pretty fun.  Here are the highlights:

Day 1 – Flying and shopping

I had to take a connecting flight later than my colleagues so I was looking at a couple of hours of layover by myself.  But I lucked out!  My friend, Danyelle, was ALSO on my flight and had the same layover.  So we had lunch together, did some people watching, and talked about how rude some people are at the airport. Good times!

When we reached our destination, I got to go to an Ikea for the very first time.   That was awesome!  Check out this amazing couch I found…

The couch I wanted from my first trip to Ikea

The couch I wanted from my first trip to Ikea

Day 2 – DSW!!!

The Designer Shoe Warehouse, aka DSW, is within walking distance from the hotel.  Last week I decided that I probably needed to throw away my very favorite pair of work shoes.  I lucked out and found a new pair at the DSW.  SCORE!!!  Aren’t they cute?!?!

My favorite work shoes

My favorite work shoes

Day 3 – Dinner with an old friend

I got to hang out with another friend of mine who I used to work with.  He was also in town so he picked me up and we went to dinner at Genghis Grill (like Mongolian Barbeque).  When I got back from dinner, I decided to walk next door and have a drink.  This is my DC trip drink of choice.

The X-rated Flirtini from the Hilton in Springfield, VA

The “X-rated Flirtini” from the Hilton in Springfield, VA

Day 4 – Silver Diner

Dinner this night was at the Silver Diner.  I love this place.  They have typical diner food, but it’s a little more upscale and much healthier.  And they have a very impressive gluten-free selections!!!  I had GF spaghetti and turkey meatballs with garlic bread made with Udi’s.  O. M. G.  I took leftovers back with the intention of eating them for lunch the next day, but I ate them cold in front of the TV that night.  I couldn’t help it!

After dinner, we did a little shopping at Barnes and Noble.  My local B&N has very few paleo cookbooks, but a B&N near DC has TONS of them!  So I picked up one of the most recent additions to my wish list.  WELL FED 2!!!  I follow the author’s blog and also have her first cookbook.  I read this entire book from cover to cover on my return flights.

Tee hee hee!!!  Paleo cooking makes me giddy!!!

WELL FED 2 - My new Paleo cookbook

WELL FED 2 – My new Paleo cookbook

Day 5 – Gettin’ my geek on

(SQUIRREL – We started our day by passing the Vice Admiral in the stairwell on his way back from working out.  That’s like a celebrity sighting as far as I’m concerned.  I told him “good morning”… because I’m cool like that.)

One of my colleagues found a great deal at Micro Center and about half the class decided to go get the deal the next night.  So we took a field trip sot hat we could all go get ourselves a 7” Android tablet… for $40!  This little thing is impressive!  I got 2 of them.  PLEASE don’t read this or breathe a word of it to my kids.  When we got to the parking lot of the store, we saw this restaurant and all just died laughing.  I guess you had to be there.

We found this to be hilarious

We found this to be hilarious

Day 6 – Desperate, and successful, attempt to beat the storm

There was one hell of an ice storm headed our way that started up near Chicago and stretched all the way down to Texas.  We were really worried that we wouldn’t get back home.  We had successfully talked the entire class into skipping lunch and getting out of class early.  And we were able to make arrangements for earlier flights (we were originally scheduled to fly back home on the last possible flight into Kalamazoo).  So we loaded up the MV (that’s what we called our rental… it stands for minivan) and headed back to Reagan National.

Mad props and shout out to our chauffeur – who is my friend and colleague, Mike.  He drove us around all week.  There were no less than 3 loud and crazy women in the MV at any given time.  We picked on him relentlessly.  In our defense, he did try to get that vehicle air born, drove in the shoulder, and even chirped the tires.  But we couldn’t be more grateful for him.  THANK YOU so much, Mikey!!!

Our driver and the MV

Our driver and the MV